The roundtable on International Traceability System for Snake Skins, jointly organized by UNCTAD and the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 12 March 2013. This meeting brought together over one hundred participants.
Mr. John Scanlon, Secretary-General of CITES gave the opening remarks, accompanied by Mr. David Morgan, Head of CITES Scientific Unit and Mr. Bonapas Onguglo, Head of UNCTAD´s Trade, Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Branch. Panelists included representatives from key range countries (Indonesia), private sector (PPR group/GUCCI) and an independent expert closely linked with Italian tanners, and CITES. The Chairman of the Working Group on Snakes and the CITES Management Authority in Switzerland moderated the event. All speakers supported the necessity and importance of tracebility system for snake skins in conservation and management needs of trade of snakes in Asia.
The roundtable aimed to provide a platform for sharing information on preparation of a traceability scoping study for trade and sustainable sourcing reptile skins. It also helped to promote higher levels of confidence over effective sustainable management systems for trade in CITES-listed species.
The scoping study will cover sustainability concerns, traceability, “tag” and other technological options; compliance with standards and regulations; available institutional frameworks; the value of capacity building, guidance and manuals on traceability; and the need for increased engagement from the private sector and conservation organizations.
It will serve as the basis for further recommendations for the CITES Standing Committee on the topic and for discussions on the most adequate traceability system for the trade of snake skins within the CITES Animals Committee.
The roundtable was staged with financial support from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) under the second phase of UNCTAD BioTrade Facilitation Programme.